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The Woman in Black vs The Evil Dead

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Driven by filmgoers’ fascination for thrills and chills, the horror genre has continued to scare, entertain and induce nightmares into all that succumb to the genre. Taking influence from the Victorian gothic novel, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (1819), horror is one of the most recognisable film genres thanks, in part, to the codes and conventions practiced during the production process of horror filmmaking. Film codes and conventions refer to ‘the rules by the which narrative is governed’ (Hayward, p 68), how film techniques are implemented to distinguish a films genre. This critical analysis aims to analyse one sequence from Sam Raimi’s 1982-film, ‘The Evil Dead’, and James Watkins 2012-film, ‘The Woman in Black’. Discussions will be made relating to the codes and conventions found in each film in which includes: iconography, mise-en-scene, cinematography, montage and sound, to emphasize that both films as fitting representations of the horror genre. A comparison and contrast of both films will simultaneously be given to highlight on the similarities and differences found in both sequences. This will provide further insight and evidence, establishing the different approaches set out by the filmmakers, to clarify both films as competent works of the horror genre.

The Evil Dead and The Woman in Black are both rich in horrific content though vastly distinctive with how the filmmakers have established this. Genre speaking, Horror can be divided into ‘three mayor categories: the unnatural horror, psychological horror and massacre horror movies (Hayward pg. 188).’ Whilst the Woman in Black and The Evil Dead both come under the ‘unnatural’ horror banner, The Evil Dead also can also be positioned as a Massacre film. Due to this, the...

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...eepy dolls all play apart in creating the films iconography, mise-en-scene and montages horrific in nature.

Works Cited

Edgar-Hunt, R, Marland, J, & Rawle, S 2010, The Language Of Film, Lausanne: AVA Academia,

Gibbs, John 2012, Mise-en-scene: Film Style and Interpretation, e-book, accessed 27 May 2014,

Hantke, S 2010, American Horror Film: The Genre At The Turn Of The Millennium, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi,

Herrmann, B, 'Haunted Soundscapes: The Music of Iconic Horror Films', 2013, UWIRE Text, 2013,

Hayward, S 2000, Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts, London: Routledge, viewed 20 May 2014.

Marciano, M, & Choi, J 2009, Horror To The Extreme: Changing Boundaries In Asian Cinema, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press,

Odell, C, & Le Blanc, M 2007, Horror Films / Colin Odell & Michelle Le Blanc, n.p.: Harpenden, Herts. : Kamera, 2007
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